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A Keyhole into Burma

A Keyhole into Burma | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
On my last afternoon in Bagan, I went in search of a meal that would serve as both lunch and dinner, before boarding my flight...

 

First and foremost the fact that this man was recommended to go down a dirt path road to find a restaurant is incredible. Based on his observations, it doesnt seem like it is a place a restaurant would be and even so, it was recommended to him. What is best about this article is how a simple restaurant owner knew how to effectively communicate and also provided an inside look to the mentality of how some Burmese people think. It is good to see that he opened up and explained how proud he was to be from Burma, especially with the fact the Robbie Williams made a song and within that song mentioned Mandalay. He also speaks of a ban in the country that doesnt allow for the buying of western music or anything that is not from Burma. This restriction is a little extreme for my taste but to each their own. I am glad to see that one man can inspire people to learn more of what is out in the world and more importantly his story gives us a glimpse of what may come. I feel as though the more people know about the world, the more they interact and benefit from tourists, researches etc...the more the government will open up to allowing things outside of their political, social realm. - M.Carvajal


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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 2014 12:23 PM

Yet another collection of pictures I'm scooping, but this time there's over 100 of them! Getting a western view into the insulated society of Burma is a rare opportunity, this shows some interesting pastimes such as Water buffalo surfing, but also things of major cultural significance, such as the importance of Buddhism.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 4:41 PM

This article depicts the differences and the little things that we in the USA take for granted for instance in this case it is a cd that is known as the "Western" type of misc and mass media culture that has been transported in this Burmese society.  It truly is the little things such as the Robbie Williams CD that is being depicted as not only the Western musical society but also being grouped with Bob Marley songs that would depict from the Burmese translation the Western society. And even though the people in this society don't know what the lyrics mean they can still be moved by the melody.  

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 10:51 PM

I found the fact that the government of Burma banned certain music, it seems like an odd thing to refuse the people of the country, but we forget that it is the small things that we take for granted in the US, that are seen as luxuries in other parts of the world and that is an interesting idea to wrap your mind around.

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How They Found National Geographic's "Afghan Girl"

How They Found National Geographic's "Afghan Girl" | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
She was one of the world's most famous faces, yet no one knew who she was. Her image appeared on the front of magazines and books, posters, lapel pins, and even rugs, but she didn't know it.

 

It is amazing that so many are photographed and used in articles, magazines, and for class presentations however no one really every takes the time to know who all these people are. I had seen this photograph during my middle and high school years but never knew who she was. It is fascinating that after twenty years she was found once again however the once young face is now aged and more than what it should be. Her name is Sharbat Gula, and its important people know that..I must say that it is sad to see that people who live in refugee camps are so affected by the weather and living conditions. I'm assuming that there are many who never knew who she was, where she was from, and didn't care to know. I always wondered however if she ever received any of the money that was earned from the repeated use of her photographs. As its stated in the article she claimed that she is "looked after". We see that muslim faith and traditions are still  instilled in this area. She had to be granted permission by her family to be able to speak to the photographer once again. It proves that certain traditions will always continue to exist and it gives us a better sense of how faiths continue to control certain aspects of people's lives. Not that it is a bad thing but its good that we see this. - M. Carvajal


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Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 12:28 AM

While the picture may be famous, she still represents depressing life that the women of her generation live.  I found it interesting that she had no idea that her photo was so iconic.  To have a photo taken of you that was used in for a variety of different things, all while not knowing about it is quite shocking.  As famous as the photo is however, it should not cloud the symbolism that the photo stands for. 

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 20, 2013 10:39 PM

I'm so glad that National Geographic found such an exotic specimen in the wild and that the US government graciously put its technology to use to catalog her..... seriously the Western fascination with the image of this Afghan woman, 1 of insanely many, is something I don't get. I think it makes us all feel "cultured" and "informed" when we can sit in the comfort of a dentist or doctor's waiting room and breeze through a Nat Geo cover to cover. A cheap thrill.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 10:38 AM

Her face was a publicity stunt. Her story is sad and is brutal. She was in a refugee camp but her story is only one of many. She didn't know she was the face of National Geographic and people have the image of her in their minds when they think of Aghani women.

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Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too?

Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too? | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it

It is understandable to see where Latvians are coming from. For many, its the only thing that they can hold on to: Culture. Latvians feel as though they should be able to hold on to their own language and shouldn't have to learn another if they are in an area where they all speak the same. It almost relates to how cultural identity is perceived here in the US. Many feel as though they do not need to learn spanish for this was an english speaking country. & there are others who believe that languages are forced on them. The issue will always remain however, in a place where majority of the people speak Russian it would be wise for everyone to atleast make it a language you can learn about it in school at your own discretion. Imposing it as a national language is indeed hindering those who do not speak it and who are possibly older in age to learn it. That takes away from people having the right to chose what they want to learn and identify with. --M. Carvajal

 

For more on the vote, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17083397    


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Nicholas Rose's comment, September 4, 2012 11:48 AM
This article is really interesting to read about. The reason why is because of the existence of the Soviet Union during World War II. Each Soviet Republic during that time had their own language and children were taught to speak Russian during school. Since the Soviet Union fell after the Cold War in 1991, all of the former Soviet Republics are free countries now and should be allowed to speak their official language instead of Russian.
Derek Ethier's comment, October 18, 2012 1:14 AM
It is definitely important for Latvians to hold on tightly to their culture. However, the Soviet Union caused Russian culture and language to spread throughout the USSR and countries are feeling the effects today. There are millions of Russians in former satellite nations who hold on to their Russian culture. At the same time, these nations wish to regain their national pride especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is a difficult conundrum, but I do agree with the Latvians' decision.
Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 15, 2014 8:37 PM

It was interesting to read that in order to become a Latvian citizen you need to speak Latvian.I can see the point of view from both sides.Russian speaking residents want to be treated equally and Latvian citizens want to keep their cultural identity. However it does seem that there may be some deeper issues of discrimination that a unified language may not eliminate completely.

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Why is King Abdullah willing to let Saudi women vote but not drive cars?

Why is King Abdullah willing to let Saudi women vote but not drive cars? | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
King Abdullah announced on Sunday that  Saudi women will be allowed to vote and run for office in municipal elections beginning in 2015.

 

Many take for granted the privelege of driving. For some, they consider it a right as a citizen of XYZ country. Saudi women however, see it as a necessity in certain cases and in other cases they do not want said privelege. It shows how strict the laws over women are in Saudi Arabia that in the age we're in, they are still denied the simplest of things. The fear is that woman will become independent. They will start looking for jobs and having the mentality that they can do anything and do not have to rely on a man. This is something that most men fear in Saudi Arabia and want to prevent from happening. This would bring a new more westernized culture which clearly goes against all their traditions.

From a political standpoint many feel as though the right to vote for women will never happen. That Kng Abdullah can change his mind or his successor may go back on his word by 2015. What if does go through with his word? Is he possibly trying to score points with the female population so that they do vote for his successor and others? This is something to ponder. In all, I believe it will take time for the change to happen as it did here in the US, but it would be economically beneficial if the traditions were not so strict and women could be entitled to work in areas where men were not needed. M.Carvajal


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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 4, 2014 7:54 PM

It seems odd that women can vote but not drive an automobile. It appears the King does not want women to explore the country freely. He may not want to give women all that freedom at one time… Also, he must not want women traveling and exploring areas alone in a car. Although the entire situation in Saudi Arabia is sad, this appears to be a small step forward for women. 

James Hobson's curator insight, October 21, 2014 7:04 PM

(Central Asia topic 5 [independent topic])

The decrees made by Saudi Arabia's King regarding women's future rights are being viewed as empty promises. On top of that, this topic is at the convergence of not just political, but also social and religious topics. Political, social, economic, and religious interests are all tugging issues such as women's rights to vote and drive in different directions.

I am surprised this article did not mention something which I had heard before: the Saudi government still does not allow women to drive not only out of social custom, but also because their highways are facing a congestion problem. Giving women drivers licenses could roughly double the number of cars on the already-gridlocked roads, making commuting and transportation even more of a hassle.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:51 PM

What I find interesting is that allowing women to vote seems like a big step towards equality but it may be more superficial at addressing the real issue at hand. Women in this country are living with so much constraint, letting them vote may not be the giant step forward it seems to be. There are still cultural and institutional barriers that restraint the freedom and natural rights of women.

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Will There Be a Central Asian Spring?

Will There Be a Central Asian Spring? | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it

Kazakhstan may not be ripe for revolution, but the West is making the same mistakes it made in the Arab world

 

All there really is to say about this issue is that in times where it is benificial for other countries to turn their head, they will. It is a shame that there was no intervention. Not for the benefit of the government or foreign countries, but for the benfit of the people who would be affected from the results of this election. As said within this article referring to the day that Nursultan Nazarbayev basically stole the election..  "On that day democracy was killed, just as in Zhanaozen our peaceful citizens were killed with machine guns!" - OSDP deputy leader Amirzhan Kosanov. People are losing their rights and freedom and all due to the fact that rich people in certain nations can get away with things based on their economic standing and who they know politically. Not only this, but if you do interfere or say something, you can disappear and no one would question it. If someone is in good favor with anyone in the west, they get away with more than those who are not on that friendly of a term. People can shape countries however they want, rule their people however they want, but it should still be up to the people to elect their ruler in a fair election. No matter who is friends with who, justice should be served equally. -- M.Carvajal


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Derek Ethier's comment, October 18, 2012 1:36 AM
It is sad to see Western nations ignoring Kazakhstan's drift into dictatorship as it ignores all democratic ways of governance. Since the current leader in charge is friendly with the west, powers like NATO do little to intervene. The hypocrisy behind it is that we did and said much more in Syria and Egypt where similar events took place.
Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 11, 2012 11:44 PM

It bothers me that this is being over looked by our government.  If they are going to stand up and back the resurgance in Syria and Egypt then why are we not doing it here to?  All it would take would take is a backing from our government, but due to the ties that the have with the West, we are not stepping in.  This shows complete hypocrisy on our part. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 10:36 AM

I couldn't view this article for some reason. It wanted me to subscribe to something.

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Devolution: A Beginner's Guide

Devolution: A Beginner's Guide | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
What is devolution and how has it changed how Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are governed?

 

This article with videos, charts and images was designed as a primer for UK voters for the 2010 election to understand who devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were reshaping the political landscape in the United Kingdom.  It is general enough that even though it is outdated as a news story, it serves as a concrete example from geography students to understand the processes and reasons for a decentralization of political power.

 

-This article is clear and straight to the point in giving the reader good examples of devolution and how it affects each country politically. The transfer of powers changes each country in the sense that they can each decide over their own local gov't (whichever it may be). With this each respective country can even provide funding (grants) toward their police dept, fire dept etc. What is interesting in this article however is how UK chose to stay the way it is. In a sense it is actually smart because they still have a say in matters of foreign policy and can still pass legislation according to devolved matters within the devolved government. The devolution of powers affect the regular citizen of each country how? In a positive or negative way?- M.C


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Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:21 PM

This shift can reshape the countries in many ways, financially, and the over all quality of life. A place will do better with connections than standing alone. This may help with international relation issues and build new relationships. When places depend on one another it can reshape the Country. It can also help with investment and jobs. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:44 AM

The parliament in London is shifting more power to Scotland and other areas in what is called devolution.  This reflects a push for more independence of countries in the UK that are not England. In order to keep the UK together concessions must be made, this devolution is the British Parliament's efforts to keep the UK intact.

Miles Gibson's curator insight, February 11, 9:30 AM

Unit 4 political geography 

This picture explains how devolution works and provides a specific example with the breaking down of power of the imperialist England and it's control into an equally represented United Kingdom. This is an example of devolution at it's best.

This picture relates to unit 4 because it shows how devolution, which is a major part of unit 4, works. It explains it's parts and gives specific geographic examples as in the U.K. this overall relates to unit 4.